I’m not going to lie, I’m writing this for anyone who may feel this way as much as I’m writing it for myself.
Sabrina Benaim shared in her spoken word piece “Explaining My Depression to My Mother,” saying, “I call the bad days ‘the dark days.’”
I often feel guilty when I don’t feel like myself. The me that’s usually so well put together. The me that’s always trying to cheer others up. The me that loves to listen rather than speak, because it brings her joy being able to be that shoulder for others. The me that is definitely not sad or numb.
That’s what people want to see, right?
They don’t want to see me when I get sad.
I try to justify myself, saying that I’m trying to escape the holds of my anxiety, when really, I’m just buying time to distract myself. I tell myself to sweep what I feel under the rug. But on some days, the numbness is undeniable. I feel nothing. I try to find reasons sometimes, blaming it on body chemistry, stress over a pending dateline, my personality type, the surrounding circumstances, other people’s behaviors. But there are some days where despite everything going right, there still lies a pain in my chest, questioning life’s purpose.
I get annoyed at myself once “a dark day” or “the dark days” pass. Now you’ve wasted even more time. Did you not take your vitamins again? Hormones, am I right? Why are you such a kid?
And here is where I’d like to intervene.
Please don’t feel guilty for the bad days.
You felt what you felt. What you feel is valid. You may not be able to explain it when you’re asked about it. Heck, how could you when you can’t understand it yourself sometimes? You are not obligated to prove that you’ve felt what you felt.
Please don’t feel guilty for the bad days. It is not wasted time. Please don’t beat yourself up for them.
Just as the waves come and go, the bad days arrive and leave.
Just like those other times when you didn’t think you would be, you will be okay.